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Dumplin by Julie Murphy

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Goodreads Summary

Willowdean Dickson is fat, but happy.  She knows that she is pretty in her own way, but doesn't seem to expect anyone else-much less the handsome Bo-to realize.  I liked how the author included Will's self-demeaning thoughts as well as her quiet confidence because it made her feel like more of a real person to me.  Bo has his own difficulties in life to work out and Ellen has a few complexities of her own.  The author is excellent at developing and making the reader care about the character.  I really enjoyed Millie's go-get-'em attitude.  The Dolly Parton theme was a fun addition and added a meaningful aspect to the story.

I really liked how Will kept her aunt's memory alive.  It's difficult to lose someone you can identify with and Will was concerned about becoming her very heavy aunt later in life.  However, her aunt is a lot more than her appearance.  She is the one who instilled Will's confidence and depth into her.  The one problem I had with the book was that I wished Willow had defended her fellow peers when they were being picked on or bullied more.  On the other hand, I can understand not wanting to draw attention to oneself.  Overall, this book would be a great read for young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ


  1. Unknown said...:

    I have heard such good things about this one but I am so scared to actually pick it up! But I love stories like this and I really hope to pick it up soon!

  1. This was such a good story, and such a relevant story. In an age where there is more attacking of someones character than ever, having stories that teach confidence in yourself even through the fear and worry is so important. Loved it!